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From The Shadows


“Mika, stop!” The dhamphir could hear Taehee’s voice, but did not let the demon go. He also did not move his knife. Taehee finally caught up to him, along with Seon and a girl Mika also recognized. He thought he remembered her name…maybe Hyuna?

“Taehee, you do realize that this is a demon, don’t you? It’s dangerous,” Mika glanced at him, then back at the demon, who had not moved.

Taehee was out of breath, so Seon spoke for him. “Mika, that is one of our guys. His name is Haru,” he smiled. “Now, please let his go, and we can go introduce you to everyone. Deal?”

Mika sighed, easing the knife away from his throat. Haru stood to his feet, moving closer to Seon. “I think introductions would be nice,” Haru said, rubbing his throat where the cold metal had been and casting Mika a wary look.

Taehee sighed. “Let’s go up to the house, okay?” He got distracted when he felt his phone vibrating. He took it out, and winced when he saw that it was from Minho. He had not heard anything from his brother all day, and he was hoping he would still want to meet with him again. He was curious about the text, but right now he needed to fix the immediate problem of having members that were not introduced to one another. It was going to get someone killed if they stayed this way.

They went to the house and Taehee called a meeting. When everyone was there, he began the introductions.

“Guys, I am sure that most of you remember Mika, Karam, Hyunmin and Injun. They were here last year, but left for personal reasons.” He ignored Yooseung’s sigh and continued. “I have been in the process of splitting the work into teams, as we have gained more members. I have also been considering giving Mika his own team. He is an experienced leader, and I think you guys will work well under him.” He glanced at Mika, who nodded. “Anyway, you guys should remember the people I am going to name off, beginning with myself and my now second, Yooseung. You guys probably remember him as Jino, but his name has since changed,” he moved on to the next person. “You guys also remember our lovely ladies,” he smiled at them. “Jihyun, Gayoon, Hyuna and Jiyoon. They have been with us from the beginning, when my father decided to hire people.”

He moved on down the line. “The other guys. Seongwon, who has been an acting leader in most activities. I am pretty sure he will get his own team, when I split things up. Next we have his and Karam’s brothers, Jaejoong and Jonghyun,” he smiled at Mika and his dongsaengs. “The rest are new. I will introduce you to them, also.”
Taehee turned to the other line. “Ladies first, so the next person is Ailee. She is a member from America, and has been a good friend of mine for many years. She came here eleven months ago,” he glanced at Mika again. “When Siwoo died…Our other lovely lady is Sohyun, who joined us a few months ago. She is the same age as Jay.”
He looked at the newcomers again before continuing. “You guys already met our healer, Red. He has been with us for about six months, and has helped us through many ordeals. We were fortunate to find him. Next is Haru, a demon who came to us for protection this Spring. He is not malicious, and has been a huge asset, especially with tracking. Next is Hyunwoo, but he also goes by T.O. He is easily recognized because of his past, and that is why he wears the sunglasses.” Taehee smiled at the last guy in line, and he received a huge grin, in return.

“Last, but not least, we have Jerry. He is the youngest guy on the team, but he has shown that he is not to be underestimated because of his age,” Taehee nodded at Yooseung, and everyone began to sit back down. He turned to Mika. “So, are you still in? We would be happy to have you guys on our teams.”

Mika glanced at everyone, then nodded. “I trust you, Taehee. I am in, and am pretty sure the rest of my guys are, also.” Karam smiled at him, and Injun and Hyunmin nodded.

Taehee smiled. “Thank you. You guys have no idea how much this means to me. I will work on the teams, and see where everyone will be best, if that is alright with everyone.”

Mika nodded. “I’m okay with it, but…I would like to request having Jay on the same team as myself. I know he can take care of himself, but I still worry. I hope you guys understand.”

Taehee nodded. “I do understand. He’s your maknae, and I was planning on putting him on the same team as you, in the first place. What about your others?”

Mika shook his head. “I don’t think there is any need to keep an eye on them or protect them. They are capable.”

Taehee smiled. “Okay. If everyone is good, I need to go check my phone and see what my dongsaeng has to say. Maybe he will come here, if I’m lucky. Cross your fingers.” He turned and left without another word.

Taehee left and checked his phone.

‘I will come visit u, whenever is good for u. I am off tomorrow, and also this weekend. Just tell me when and where, and I will be there. G2g…bye, hyung.’

Taehee smiled, hitting reply. ‘I would be happy to meet with you in the morning, if that is good for you. If you would like to stay a few days, I do have room. Thank you, dongsaeng.’
The next morning, Taehee met with Minho again. This time, the young man had a duffle bag with him, which made Taehee happy. That meant that he would be staying at least a night. That was a good start.
They did not talk much on the way to the compound, but when they arrived, Taehee smiled at his brother. “So, what do you think? This is where I live.”

Minho looked around at the large house and the other buildings on the land. He could see a stable a short distance from the houses, and it made him happy. This was not in the city, as he thought it might be. He turned to Taehee. “This place is huge. It’s nice.”
Taehee smiled at him. “This is the land our father bought years ago, and it is also where my co-workers live. I need them close, for the work we do.”

Minho nodded. “I see. So, where would you like me to put my things?”

“I’ll show you to a room. Let’s go in,” Taehee led him into the house and to his room. The compound did not appear to be a hunter’s housing, as all the weapons were safely tucked away for safety reasons.

They moved down the hall to a bedroom, and Minho set his bag beside the bed, which was already made.

Taehee turned to him. “Hey, I need to go take care of something, but make yourself at home, okay?”

Home. Minho thought about that word, and thought it might have a nice ring to it. He wondered if his brother would let him stay, if he wanted to. It would be nice, even though they had only just met. It sounded right. He did not want to get his hopes up, though.

Taehee found Yooseung, while Minho was in his “new” bedroom. “Hey, can you take Haru and a few others and go stay close to Minho’s house tonight? It would give you a chance to get away from Mika and clear your head a little…and I would appreciate it. That way, we can take care of anything that may be trying to attack him. I may give us an idea of what we are up against, if we catch this guy. I am going to try to convince Minho to stay…for good. He is not safe.”

Yooseung nodded. “Sure. I’ll take Red, too, in case we need a healer.”

Taehee smiled. “Okay. Thank you, dongsaeng.”

Yooseung nodded again. “You’re welcome.”


Mika walked into Jay’s room, just as he saw Red leaving. His maknae was awake, and offered a weak grin when he saw Mika. Seeing that made Mika’s heart skip a beat. Rushing over, he hugged Jay tightly. A silent tear fell onto Jay’s hair, and Jay heard a whispered “Aishiteru,” before Mika pulled away. He was shaking with emotion, a sight that Jay had not seen in a while.

Jay smiled at Mika. “Thank you, hyung. I’ve missed you…I don’t know what else to say,” he swallowed hard, “Thank you…”

Mika squeezed his hand. “You don’t need to say anything. Just seeing you alive and well is good enough for me.” Mika could feel his emotions building up again, so he pushed them down.

Jay smiled softly, this time. He now had tears in his eyes…and a look that Mika couldn’t explain…and wasn’t sure if he wanted to. It appeared to be very close to passion, and he wasn’t sure how he thought about that. He wouldn’t worry about that now. He was just happy to see the boy awake.
Taehee walked to Minho’s room, knocking on the door. Minho invited him in, but did not seem to be very talkative. Taehee could feel the strange tension in the room, so he left Minho to his thoughts. He did not want to scare the younger man off, and was just happy he had finally joined them…to an extent. He wasn’t sure how his brother would view him, once he knew what this place really was. Taehee left without saying much. He simply smiled and told the younger man that he was happy he had gotten a chance to meet him. He did not notice his brother watching him as he left.

A while later,Minho left his room, satisfied with having his things put away how he wanted them. He had to admit to himself that he was curious about the place, so he began wandering around. Walking down the hall, he noticed that the floor was not wood, but tile. That would be easier to clean. This place seemed a little strange, but it may have been used for something different, in the past. Maybe a factory. That would explain the floor and the buildings.

Reaching the end of the hall, Minho heard laughter. It was a man’s voice, but was light and happy…almost like music. That made him very curious. Moving closer, he heard the same voice speaking now. He sounded just as interesting while speaking. Turning the corner, Minho stopped in his tracks. The young man he had heard was on the phone, and he was beautiful. His eyes seemed to dance while he spoke, and his smile lit up his entire face. Minho also noticed that he was not speaking Korean or English, but possibly Japanese.

Waiting until the beauty had ended his conversation, Minho extended his hand. “Hi…” He lost his train of thought for a moment, so he shook his head, starting again. “Hi, I’m Minho.”

The man smiled at him, studying his face. “Taehee’s brother? Hi! I’m Karam…Park Hyunchul…but I go by Karam. Nice to meet you,” he said, smiling. This time, Minho could see something behind the gorgeous, caramel colored eyes. Worry and stress. He knew the feeling.

Minho laughed softly. “Yeah. Nice to meet you, too. So, do you live here and work for my brother?” For some reason, any deeper subject was escaping him.

Karam nodded, looking a bit tense for a moment. The look disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. “Yeah. I do now. You just got here, right? Um…would you like me to show you around?”

Minho grinned at him. “I’d love that. Thanks.”

“Cool. Let’s go this way,” Karam led him down the hall and around the entire house.


Jaejoong found Taehee in his bedroom. “Hey…the blood tests from your father’s murder came back from my friend…who has a way with this stuff. She’s quicker than the lab. She said there was no way it was creature other than human. We just need to find out who. We are not safe until the killer is found. This has nothing to do with creatures, as we thought it did.”


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